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Why I Fight (with apologies to John Ford)

"HANDS OFF, BOEHNER! I EAT WITH THIS MIND!"

I am an American.  At this point in our history, we have back-peddled through time, and now reside in a world reminiscent of the mid-1950’s.  While we all love Lionel Trains, rock ‘n roll, and the movie “The Searchers,” it doesn’t mean it’s time to resurrect the rotting corpse of Joseph McCarthy or Roy Cohn.

Why would political adversaries of the President of The United States characterize him as, “soft on terror!,” or “not what we need in a military leader,” when he’s performed in a manner that is more than becoming of a great Commander-In-Chief?

Call me crazy, but taking out a man our security forces had been after for 10 years, with a plan that he personally helped plan and prepare for, that was then carried out on his order and accomplished what they set out to do…well…that’s the kind of guy I want in charge.

Add to that the fact while he’s been in charge, every one of that guy’s executive officer’s has been banished from this plane of existence, as well as most of the folks under them, and I start wondering what kind of outfielder he might make with all those basketball skills.

Ice that cake with a 6-month persecution of the Ayatollah of rock ‘n rolla at a cost of 4 billion and no lives lost, resulting in Libya being able to fight it out amongst themselves to see what they want…um…for themselves, and I’m asking myself if he could manage as well as LaRussa.

It’s time to put the laughing gas down, and see if we can’t really focus for a change, and understand the fact that sometimes, unfortunately, people who want absolute power will say any damn thing they want to, no matter who they are or what they represent, the truth be damned.

The laundry list of wild accusations:  The “missing birth certificate,” which turned into, “it’s not long form one,” then morphing into, “I don’t trust the Hawaiian record-keepers,” along with literally a volume or two of other wild, unsubstantiated claims and charges, and you’re talking about trying to include the text of the Pentagon Papers into a blog post.  Just won’t work.

The real question here, is: “Why in the fuck is this happening?”

If you’re old enough to have watched “Batman” as a weekly evening television show, you might be asking yourself the same thing.  We were killing people right and left, overseas and right here; race riots left large areas of cities in ashes, a political convention gave us a great line to use after “What’s black and white and red all over?,” and of course there’s the university where four people actually died by gunfire.

The funny thing is though, during that time period, you actually had a feeling that we were growing.  Growing as a country, as a people, and refining the very essence of who we were, what we stood for.  We licked our wounds, hunkered down, and worked our way through the 1970’s.  We argued, we fought, we yelled at each other, but there was still that lingering feeling of progressing.  Of getting better as a people, and at being a “people.”

That started sliding in the 80’s, but still, we were trying to be more aware as people, and to work on our social infrastructure.  We took Jefferson at his word, and realized that a country as big, as diverse as ours, that served as a world leader in the field of democracy (as we did), requires frequent and intense scrutiny for maximum performance.  If you’re going to walk the walk, you better talk the talk, right?

By not calling for the bombing of the U.S.S.R., Ronald Reagan and the rest of the world were somehow able to get the Soviet Union to “tear down (their) wall.”  I’m still scratching my head over that one.  What in the hell were they thinking?

War.  Live and in color.  24 hours a day.  Hey, at least we prepared for a year first.  Kuwait is safe, and military contractors all over the world have something to stare at besides CAD drawings.  Cable News Networks establish themselves as variety shows written by out-of-work soap opera writers.

Then, as U-Boat captains in the early days described their time of unopposed success:  “The Happy Time.”  Let’s not dawdle.  It seems so far away now, and it’s painful.

Enter The Boy-King.  Painful for different reasons.  War.  War waged by an ex-executive of Halliburton.  Poorly.

Today?  Today we live in a time where I am referred to as a “Socialist.”  A time where if you disagree with a president and their party like George Bush and the De-Composing Republican Party, you are accused of not “caring about the troops!,” to the point of being “Un-American!”

A socialist.  That doesn’t care about the troops.  Who’s un-American.  Wow.  Exactly when was this memo sent out?  Am I going to have to do stuff differently now?  Is there like, a different menu and stuff?  Specialized clothing?  Will I have to change my letterhead?  I had no idea.  Can I still buy .357 magnum and .223 ammo?

It’s clear that people have gone completely bonkers.  We’ve lost our minds so thoroughly we have no idea where we put them.  We barely remember what they look like.  In their place, we have digital recorders that download whatever source we’re plugged-in to, and then simply play it back without an original thought,or a desire to see if it is actually true or not.

What’s not clear is:  Why is that?

Why would slightly less than half of the 300 million people in our country suddenly have their brains short-circuit, to the point that they no longer can tell fact from fiction?  In the 60’s and 70’s, the comments that make up the lion’s share of Republicans speeches today would have gotten them laughed off the podium  in Congress, and in public.  They would have been thought of as stark-raving horse’s asses, and after that brief moment that you heard them say something as stupid like, “Obama’s in bed with Wall Street and Big Business!” one minute, only to be followed up with, “Obama’s trying to crush Big Business, our free-market system, and bankrupt Wall Street!,” you would have never seen, or heard, of them again.  Well, maybe if it was like a “60 Minutes,” “Where Are They Now?” segment.

Now they get millions of dollars thrown at them, and create Super-PAC’s.  Wowsers.

But again, WHY?

You probably know this already: Fear.  Scary, unknown, dark, uncertain fear.  We’ve had financial times that pretty much sucked before, but it’s never been like this; happy, normal families being kicked out of their homes by law enforcement representatives, their credit ratings shot, and to top it off, they don’t have a job.  These are the people that “did the right thing,” went to college, had 2.2 children, volunteered at their church, that sort of thing.  “Good” Americans.

Even lenders had no idea what to do.  I honestly think a lot of the first round of foreclosures that did not follow the letter of the deed of trust may not have been intentional.  I think they were scared shitless, freaked the fuck out, never having imagined in their wildest doomsday scenario that anything could ever be this bad.  I think they acted out of fear and panic, having no experience in a scope of displacement like this ever before in history.  It will take years to figure out what to do for people that shouldn’t have lost their homes, as well as how to get families back into their own single-family homes again.

Now it’s Barack Obama’s fault, anyone who votes for him, all Muslims, poor people too lazy to afford $600/month medical insurance per person (no dental, no vision care, $5k deductible, no pre-existing, 80% and you pay the rest, no pay on drugs not covered), and that damn Alec Baldwin!  What?  I dare anyone who reads this to pick up the phone, and blind-call a private medical insurance company.  It’s hilarious.  Do it on speakerphone, and invite some of the guys over for beers.

We’re scared to death.  Just like Berlin in the late 1920’s and early 30’s, we have galvanized all of our problems into visible, easily identifiable targets.  In the case of the man who idolized Rush “Never Met Any Hydrocodone I Didn’t Like” Limbaugh, recording his broadcasts and cataloging them, the target became real, as did the guns to use on it.  Thank goodness the sheriff’s deputies were good shots, and quite adept at ducking.  At least they kept him down until his capture, and didn’t get shot stopping him.  What ever happened to that guy?

It’s time to stop letting ourselves be filled with bullshit, allowing people to shove our own flag up our asses, and all of a sudden decide who is, and who isn’t, an American.  It’s time to realize that we’re all here together whether we like it or not, and take a look at history free of interpretation by fads like Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin.

For crying out loud, we’ve been through tough times before.  Labor riots in the early part of the 20th century, The Great Depression, World War II, Korea, M.A.D., Vietnam, assassinations, more riots, and a long list of trials and tribulations before and in-between, not to mention today and in the future.

Is this what our heritage will be?  To be remembered as sniveling mud-rackers, that reveled in our abilities as name-callers and liars instead of leaders and great minds?  The Great Nation That Quit?  Are we so incompetent that we can’t see the forest for the trees, and figure out who the bad guys really are, and how to make things better in our own nation?  Oh, that isn’t something like doing away with Medicare and Social Security?  Have we become that inept as people, and a nation as well?

Man.  I hope not.  I refuse to act insane.  I saw the sky as blue before all this, and it still is.

Time to drop your cocks, pick up your socks, and start doing some fact-checking for yourself.  Put down the fear, and act like an American again.  You’re embarrassing the rest of us.  <first draft>

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